today's. One such caller was calling again, just to update the listeners on her situation. She called several days ago, at the tail end of the program, hurt and nearly crushed with the pain her mom inflicted on her. The caller and her mom never had a good relationship, until the caller was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout the entire cancer ordeal, the mom was there for her. However, later, after the cancer went into remission, the mom resumed her behavior of shunning the daughter, and denying any relationship with her. As I listened to her story, my heart broke for her. Have you, or anyone you know ever gone through this? To have a parent/guardian just cast you aside, I cannot fathom that. At least not to that degree.
The elation for me came, though, on this afternoon's broadcast. She calls back, and announced that she's decided to forgive her mom for the heartache. After all, she reasoned, if Jesus can forgive her of all of her short comings, why couldn't she forgive her mom of the mom's shortcomings? I have to applaud this caller. I wonder if she knows how much of an encouragement she was to someone she didn't know?
Listening to her made me re-evaluate my own mindset of forgiveness. Of course, we've all had hurts given us, and if we were really honest, we've hurt other folks, as well. One thing that has helped me forgive people who've hurt me, is to look at them as they truly are. Not who they think they are, but who they truly are. Who are they? They are someone that Christ died for. If they're a sibling in Christ who just happens to be acting like a dork, we just realize that we've acted like dorks as well, and just offer our attitude to God, to work His will in us, to forgive them. If the people that have hurt us are NOT a Child of God, then we recognize that behavior for what it is, and know that God loves them, just as much as He loves us. Although we can't muster up that love or forgiveness on our own, we can trust God to be faithful to work those parts of the fruit of the spirit through us. Mind you, this isn't to say that we and the people that have hurt us will be bosom buddies, but rather, we can be at peace with them. I've had good friends that have hurt me deeply, and we've all gone our separate ways. Years after the incident took place, we both wound up at a meeting at the same time, and the ceiling didn't fall in, with us being under the same roof. Did we speak? No. Did we acknowledge each other? No. But, it was comforting to know that we can co-exist calmly as the children of God we both are, knowing God has the other one in His hand. On the other hand, I have had good friends that have hurt me deeply, that I've chosen to forgiven, and we retained our friendship. Forgiveness, as the show host mentioned today, was to 'send the offense away'. Forgiving someone, even a close family member, doesn't necessarily mean a reconciliation, but rather, the ability to live at peace with the offending party, both on the inside, and the outside.
What about you? Is there someone in your life that has hurt you deeply? Has God helped you to forgive them? Perhaps you feel they deserve the treatment you've retaliated with. Is this really what God wants for them? For you? Even though the hurt may run deep, and you're scared to trust them, it's okay to trust God. Love the offending party, forgive the offending party, and trust God to take care of the details.